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News & Press: AAALetter

From 1st VP/Conference Chair

Thursday, September 7, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Linda Harklau
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AAAL 2018 will take place March 24-27. We will be returning to Chicago, a perennial favorite for AAAL meetings, and the Sheraton Grand Chicago, a great venue in downtown Chicago right on the Chicago River and close to the lake.

We are once again coordinating schedules with TESOL, which will be holding its annual convention in Chicago immediately following our conference from March 27 to 30.

Chicago is a major metropolis with a diverse population and rich immigration history, providing a perfect backdrop for the discussion of language issues. The conference venue is within walking distance of world-class restaurants, cultural attractions including the Art Institute and other museums, the Lake Michigan waterfront, and shops.

The hotel is close to public transportation and just 35 minutes away from O’Hare International Airport.

I have been helped in choosing plenary speakers and invited colloquia by my colleagues Ruth Harman, Victoria Hasko, Jiyoon Lee, and Don Rubin. Our Conference Planning team includes Associate Chair Rhia Moreno Kilpatrick, who is serves as the Strand Coordinator Liaison. Rhia is a doctoral student at the University of Georgia researching study abroad experiences in Italy. It also includes Nicole Siffrinn and Lei Jiang, also doctoral students at UGA, who have been hard at work helping to put together the conference.

(pictured, left to right: Ruth Harman, Linda Harklau, Rhia Moreno Kilpatrick, Victoria Hasko, Nicole Siffrinn, Lei Jiang)

This year's conference forgoes a conference theme. Representing the diversity of our field, sessions and invited colloquia draw from cutting-edge work across the many areas that comprise applied linguistics. Featured plenary speakers will include:

  • Ellen Bialystok, York University, “Bilingualism: Consequences for Mind and Brain”
  • Eric Friginal, Georgia State University, “Quantifying Cross-Cultural Professional Communication”
  • Susan Goldin-Meadow, University of Chicago, “The Resilience of Language and Gesture”
  • Kim Potowski, University of Illinois at Chicago, “Every U.S. Primary School Should Teach in Two Languages. Why Don’t They, and What Can We Do About It?”
  • Steven L. Thorne, Portland State University, “Technologies, Morphologies of Communicative Action, and the Rewilding of Language Education”

Invited colloquia are equally diverse. Marcyliena Morgan will lead the session “‘We Got It From Here’: Language, Identity, and Global Hiphop.” With a generous grant from the Language Learning Roundtable program, Aline Godfroid and Paula Winke have organized “One Tool, Many Applications: Robust Eye-Tracking Research Across SLA Disciplines.” Marking the advent of the Vocabulary and Lexical Studies conference strand, Norbert Schmitt will lead “New Trends in Vocabulary Research.Martha Bigelow and Shawna Shapiro will lead the Wilga Rivers Pedagogy Colloquium on “Multimodality in Teaching and Research with Refugee-Background Language Learners.” Jointly-organized colloquia include “The Next Generation of Policy-Driven Language Testing Systems: Accountability, Consequences, and Learning” (ILTA@AAAL) led by Micheline Chalhoub-Deville. Meg Gebhard will lead “Recontextualizing Systemic Functional Linguistics Theory and Praxis in Multilingual U.S. Classroom” (NASFLA@AAAL) and Naoko Taguchi will lead “Globalization and Second Language Pragmatics: Implications for Research and Teaching.” (IPrA@AAAL)

I am also very pleased to announce two pre-conference workshops taking place on Friday March 23nd. The first, “Exploring Digital Tools for Qualitative Research,” will be led by Trena Paulus of the University of Georgia. Dr. Paulus will lead participants in examining the affordances and limitations of various technologies for data collection and annotation including mobile apps, and also discuss how to select data analysis software. The second workshop, “Integrative Mixed Methods Research Design and Analysis,” will be led by Eunice Eunhee Jang of the University of Toronto. Dr. Jang will lead an exploration of mixed methods research design typologies and analytic approaches. Look for these when you register and sign up early—space is limited and likely to fill quickly.

The 2018 conference also includes two AAAL conference orientation sessions for newcomers led by Past President Kathi Bailey and the AAAL Business Office’s Jessica Atkinson, one on the evening of Friday, March 23rd and the other mid-morning on Saturday. These sessions will also include an orientation to the AAAL Conference App, which will contain the most detailed and up-to-date information about the conference. (An abbreviated printed conference program featuring daily schedule summaries will also be available).

Other featured events at the conference will include an address by the first recipient of AAAL’s new Distinguished Public Service Award, and a special screening of Talking Black in America, a new documentary funded by the National Science Foundation and produced by Walt Wolfram and colleagues.

Lastly, the 2018 conference will host several new events for graduate students. Friday night will feature an informal meet and greet where graduate students can drop by the lobby and bar area to network and socialize. A “Conference Connections” activity will link graduate students and faculty mentors (see Kathi Bailey’s column here for more details). Another session will present master’s students and interested faculty advisors with information about and tips for applying to applied linguistics doctoral programs.

See you in Chicago!

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